Getting the proper approval

A picture of the St. Croix in Wintertime When starting a construction project, putting in a road, establishing a driveway, building a deck, pouring a sidewalk, planning a development etc. It is always a good idea to seek the assistance of professionals who can help you get the proper permits, certifications and approvals before starting a project that you cannot finish. It is often said in the legal community, that Wisconsin has a statute for everything, no question. The Court of Appeals recently issued a decision in State of Wisconsin v. CGIP Lake Partners, LLP and Catherine deBarros, where they are requiring the defendant- respondent’s to remove a road that she had installed over a wetlands for not obtaining the proper permits. The circuit court concluded deBarros and CGIP violated WIS. STAT. § 281.36(2)(a) (2009-10). Similar to shoreland zoning ordinances, the purpose of WIS. STAT. ch. 281 is to “protect, maintain and improve the quality and management of the waters of the state[.]” See WIS. STAT. § 281.11. To this end, both shoreland zoning ordinances and § 281.36(2)(a) require citizens to obtain permission before conducting otherwise impermissible activities that may harm the state’s waters. Additionally, as with shoreland protection, the public has a substantial interest in protecting the state’s wetlands. Because deBarros failed to get this proper certifications ahead of time and then falsified applications and statements on her need for the new road, the Court of Appeals is requiring that the case be remanded for the Court to order them to remove the new road pursuant to the DNR’s restoration plan. Again, this is a prime example of why you hire professionals to help get the proper permits, certifications and approvals before beginning any project or you may end up without a project and a healthy amount of attorney’s fees to boot. If you have any trouble finding the proper professional or addressing the proper board or governmental body, give us a call and we would be happy to help you wade through the municipal government process.